How to Read a Ruler?

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Familiarity with the non-standard units of measurement makes understanding standard units of measurement easier.

Ruler with objectIn grade 1, the students explore the concept of measurement with non-standard units which involve measuring objects using blocks, clips, hand spans etc. In grade 2, the students begin exploring the standard units of measurement. They use rulers, yardsticks and other measuring tools to measure lengths in customary and metric units.

Digital Ruler: A Teacher’s Tool

Rulers are mainly used to draw straight lines and measure lengths. Teaching students how to read a ruler in an innovative way can make classroom a fun place. The embedded digital tool by SplashMath aims to make the process of understanding ruler, simpler and quicker.

Key Features of the Tool

• A ruler marked with customary and metric units of measurements

Ruler with inches

• Option to drag objects on the ruler and place them on any number

drag the object and place it on other number

• Can be used to teach measurement in whole units, to nearest half units and quarter units

measuring length to nearest half inch

• Can be used to teach comparing lengths of different objects

comparing length of different object

Use this Tool to Teach a Child Read a Ruler

Common Misunderstanding while using the Ruler

• Starting somewhere other than 0: The students often begin measuring an object either from the edge of the ruler or from 1. But when they consider the number on the ruler where the end of the object reaches to record the length, they end up recording incorrect length of the object.

Starting somewhere other than 0

• The length of an inch varies from ruler to ruler: The students often believe that the length of each inch/cm mark is different on different rulers. It is important to emphasize the fact that the length of an inch is universally fixed.

ruler with centimeter

• Measuring length of objects longer than the ruler: In order to measure lengths longer than the ruler, the students may flip the ruler over and over. This may result in recording incorrect length of objects. To avoid this, the student must put some mark on the object after each iteration of the ruler and should begin the next iteration where the previous ended.

Measuring length of longer objects

Other Length Measurement Tools

Meter stick• Meter stick: Meter stick is a one-meter long measuring stick marked with millimeters and centimeters. It is mainly used to measure small distances: like length of a lobby, depth and height of a room.

Measuring tape

• Measuring tape: Measuring tape is a flexible ruler which have centimeters scale on one end and inches on the other. The flexibility enables measuring curved surfaces with better precision. It is most commonly used by carpenters, tailors, and do-it-yourselfers.

• Yardsticks: As the name suggests, yardsticks are used to measure yards, where 1 yard = 36 inches. It mainly comes in use while measuring vehicles, furniture, and houses etc. Yardsticks